Saturday, December 4, 2010

Promises and Lies


Promise and Lies
by Rowena Sudbury

Blurb:

When Sean Murphy meets Jeff Hayes in a park one day, he's charmed by the simple pleasure Jeff finds in walking his dog, and despite Jeff's guardian, Jesse, hovering over them, a friendship is born. Sean realizes there’s something different about Jeff, something that would explain his timid nature and fear of disappointing Jesse, and he suspects Jeff has been a victim of abuse.

Sean works hard to earn Jeff's trust, but there are so many challenges to meet: Jeff's unusual dependency upon Jesse, Sean's devil-may-care attitude toward the past, and old nightmares and disabilities that continue to haunt Jeff to this day. Their growing love might not be enough. Jeff will have to find courage from somewhere deep within to take control of his life and decide if he wants Sean to be a part of his future.

Links to excerpts:

One

Two

Three

Promises and Lies is available at Amazon and Dreamspinner Press .


 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Promises and Lies

Stop by my blog to check out inside information on Promises and Lies, due out on November 29, 2010. So far I've left information on four characters and a dog. I am planning to have a giveaway of a personally signed copy of the book sometime in the month of December, and the information I'm posting in the blog is the key to winning the book :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Promises and Lies


Promises and Lies by Rowena Sudbury November 29

When Sean Murphy meets Jeff Hayes in a park one day, he's charmed by the simple pleasure Jeff finds in walking his dog, and despite Jeff's guardian, Jesse, hovering over them, a friendship is born. Sean realizes there’s something different about Jeff, something that would explain his timid nature and fear of disappointing Jesse, and he suspects Jeff has been a victim of abuse.

Sean works hard to earn Jeff's trust, but there are so many challenges to meet: Jeff's unusual dependency upon Jesse, Sean's devil-may-care attitude toward the past, and old nightmares and disabilities that continue to haunt Jeff to this day. Their growing love might not be enough. Jeff will have to find courage from somewhere deep within to take control of his life and decide if he wants Sean to be a part of his future.

 

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Touched

A first affair gone disastrously wrong leaves Ryan in a pit of depression so deep, he finds himself hospitalized with pneumonia. His fever is blazing in the night when he's visited by a mysterious stranger who gives him a reason to live. The question is, did he imagine it -- or not?

The GLBT Bookshelf's September 2010 Rummage Sale is in its final days, stop by to stock up on some amazing reads! Of course, my own story (above) is on the Shelf!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The King's Tale

Because The King's Tale  gets a lot of  2 star reviews I'd like to address some of the things that I think people take issue with.

**Spoilers**

First of all the character of Marged. This is a medieval tale, and as such the only way for the king to get an heir was to sleep with a woman. Granted I could have chosen to have this actually happen "off camera", but I didn't mainly for character development reasons. Sure once would have been enough, but a lot of times my characters come alive in my head and they wanted it more than once. I kept the scenes short. Christopher is very intense, he does nothing by halves. He loves Marged, but never in the same way he loves Dafydd. And Dafydd is gentle and accepting, so he realizes Marged is no threat. In a lot of ways the fact that Christopher went straight from Marged's bed to Dafydd's that first night tells all about his feelings. He leaves Marged, virtually a stranger to his household, alone in his bed and seeks Dafydd's bed where he tells Dafydd that he feels safe with him. A strong emotion for a king to reveal.

Secondly, the language. I grew up reading Medieval romances, and I always lost myself in the language. In fact, I like it when the language is historically correct. It's not completely correct in this book, but there are aspects of it that are. Along with that are some of the names. I admit, I don't even know the correct pronunciation for "Lysnowydh" but it doesn't matter. I always tell my students that when I come to words I can't pronounce my mind just slips over them like water over rocks. I'm not reading it out loud so I don't have to know how to pronounce it.

One thing that always puzzles me is the knock that the book has "too much sex and not enough plot". I simply don't understand this criticism. I agree there are a lot of sex scenes, but I do not agree that there isn't a plot. However, these are opinions and so each is entitled to their own opinion.

And finally, the historical accuracy. King Christopher is not a real character. During that time there were no lesser kings. I chose to make him a king because it suited me. Also, I have done research and I know that homosexuals in Great Britain at that time were not accepted. If discovered they were subject to the Papal inquisition, and likely put to death. They would never be allowed to live openly in the way I depicted. I chose to ignore that because above all the story is a romance. Apart from that the rest of the history is as accurate as I could get it. I researched hand-fasting rituals, and medieval medicine. The rest of the feel came from my memories of all the medieval traditional romances I read while growing up.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

September Digital Rummage Sale

The GLBT Bookshelf is holding another Rummage Sale to raise funds for the Wiki. The good news is that you, dear readers, are the winners. So much good fiction available for not a lot of money. In buying these yummy titles you keep the Bookshelf running, and it is an excellent source for GLBT literature.

Stop by to find titles by Mel Keegan, P.A. Brown, Nicole Gordon, Laura Baumbach, Sara Lansing, Gillibran Brown, Lydia Nyx, Sarah Black, Cecilia Tan, Fabian Black, DM Sands, Eden Winters, Jayne DeMarco, Neil Plakcy, Kal Cobalt,  and Rowena Sudbury! In all there are 29 titles. You can choose to purchase them individually, or there are a few bundles available.


A first affair gone disastrously wrong leaves Ryan in a pit of depression so deep, he finds himself hospitalized with pneumonia. His fever is blazing in the night when he's visited by a mysterious stranger who gives him a reason to live. The question is, did he imagine it -- or not?

GLBT Bookshelf September Rummage Sale

As if that wasn't enough good news, Dreamspinner Press is holding a Labor Day Sale this weekend, all titles are 20% off. Stop by and check them out!

Dreamspinner Press Labor Day Sale

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Testing out my RSS Feed

Amazon Author's Central informed me that I would no longer be able to post a blog directly on my page there and that I would have to make use of an RSS feed. I've opted to send the feed from this journal, testing to make sure everything connects, so this is a repeat of news for this journal, but all new for my Amazon page.

Toward the end of July my manuscript Promises and Lies was accepted for publication by Dreamspinner Press. This new book is a contemporary romance pieced together from a series of short stories I wrote nearly ten years ago. It is just a straight romance. Sean is a successful business man who turned his wild youth into a promising career. As he enters his 30s he decides it is time to settle down. One day he spots Jeff, a troubled young man in his early 20s, walking his dog in the park. A friendship is born between them, and eventually the friendship turns to love. The story follows them as they work their way through the ups and downs of Jeff's dyslexia, an attempt to adopt a child, and eventually everything comes to a head when Jeff's appendix ruptures. Both men change and mature and through it all their bond grows stronger.

The story needs some editing, and I'm working through that now. Good news for readers of The King's Tale is that I have six chapters written for the sequel entitled The King's Heart. I usually don't make outlines for my stories, I let them flow on their own, but The King's Heart seemed to form in my head during the past year as I struggled through a change in my teaching career. As such, I wrote a very detailed outline, so once I get the chance to start working on it again it should flow fairly quickly.

Thanks again for your support and positive comments. Each one means the world to me.

~Rowena

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Great News!

Promises and Lies has been accepted for publication by Dreamspinner Press and has a projected release date of November. I'm elated!

Also, please put your name in for the drawing for a free copy of The King's Tale here!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Book Giveaway!

Next Tuesday July 27 is the one year anniversary of the release of The King's Tale!

I'm hosting a book giveaway in my LiveJournal, stop by and enter your name!

rowenasudbury@livejournal

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Wow

I haven't updated this blog in months! In truth, I haven't updated my primary blog all that often either. Why not? Let me tell you about my year of hell.

It started a year ago, July 2009. I teach elementary school for my day job, and typically when the end of June comes I'm looking forward to a 2 month vacation. But last year things changed. I lost my coveted position in the magnet section of my school, and for the first time in my relatively short teaching career I had to take an "out of the classroom" position. So, instead of a two month vacation, I got a 5 day vacation before jumping into the unknown.

Teaching is something I started a little later in life. I think they call it a Rennaisance person, I switched career focus at the ripe old age of 40. I told my students that losing my private industry job was the best thing that ever happened to me once I discovered the joys of reading to them. We burned through The Chronicles of Narnia every year, and discovered new joys such as The Series of Unfortunate Events, and recently the works of Andrew Clements. Life was good, but I was glad I discovered it later in life or I'm afraid I'd have burned out long ago.

This past year though was a trial by fire. I assumed an "intervention" role, and the first few weeks on the job were spent in trying to figure out what that meant. Once I got a handle on it then students started arriving, on group of six or seven at a time, fourth, fifith, and sixth graders. Between 8:30 and noon each day it was a never ending string of them. Our school was in its final year as a "year-round" school, so every two months there was a switch of schedules as one track departed and another arrived. Of couse, I never departed, in all I had a one week summer vacation, three weeks at Christmas, and Spring Break. My wonderful four months of vacation (wherein MOST of my writing used to occur) was whittled down to five weeks. Still, compared to most private industry jobs, five weeks is nothing to sneeze at, but with all the other drama it felt pathetically small.

Having one's own students is a joy. You bond with them, you watch them grow. Getting students from teachers who are afraid you will usurp their power is quite another thing. Most of the time I felt as though I wasn't doing anything at all to help them.

When the year finally drew to a close there was another wrench thrown into the plans. Our year-round school was going traditional, and a brand new school was opening right around the block. At first I was glad, the principal I like was moving to the new school, and even though I was low enough on the seniority list that I was guaranteed of being bumped out, I thought I was high enough to be accepted to the new school. Wrong. My year spent out of the classroom rendered me ineligible based on some ridiculousness between the school district and the union. After much biting of nails, jumping through of hoops, and pulling of strings on her behalf I was indeed allowed to move to the new school. There were only two catches. First, I was not able to secure the grade level I am the most comfortable in, and second, the new school year starts a full month before the rest of the district. Thus, I have less summer vacation to dread the upcoming year with a grade below what I'm comfortable with.

And, that wasn't all. The final straw, the salt in the wound so to speak, was that I was hit with a monster virus/bacterial infection combination during the moth of June. For a whole week I suffered with a fever and could barely drag myself out of bed each day. My doctor went on vacation, and urged me to call his office and speak to one of his associates about my chest x-ray. When I did I was given the dire news that I have TB. Aghast, I told this new doctor that I was exposed to TB when I was two, took medication for an entire year, and as a result I have a TB scar on my lung, but that does not mean that I currently had TB. He didn't believe me, and ordered a battery of tests, my equilibrium was sorely tested.

The long and short of it was that I did not have TB, my own doctor returned from vacation in time to save me from the tests, and I am slowly on the mend. The illness is gone, but I'm left with a draining tiredness that I can't seem to shake.

All of that should be enough for one person, but alas, that's not all.

In my last post I talked about Promises and Lies, what I had deemed a sweet contemporary romance. I had submitted part of it to my publisher in August 2009 as a short story. It was rejected because that part of the story did not have a happy ending. That was the spark I needed to really work it into a longer story, because I knew if I "finished it" it would be great.

Turns out, I was wrong.

I don't typically use beta-readers. I guess it's whatever portion of "ego" that I have, but I don't write solely for the purpose of getting published. With that in mind, I'm not going to craft a manuscript just to get it published. When I want opinions I get them from people I know well. This doesn't mean that they spew out how great my work is, trust me when I say they criticisize. A lot. They nit-pick and quibble, and I dutifully make the changes. Finally mid-April I was satisfied with the story and sent it off.

Mid-May it was rejected. This made the 2nd time. Daunted, I sat on it for a few days and then went to work re-writing. Unfortunately, this all came about as things were really un-raveling at work and I felt doubly devastated. By the end of May I sent the "revised for the 3rd time" work to my beta group, but there was some divine hoky poky going on, and they never received it. Annoyed that they weren't getting back to me, I picked through it again, and satisfied it was good, sent it off in early June.

Well, here it is early July and I've heard nothing beyond "we'll put it on the stack". Honestly, I think that means rejection number three, and with all I've been through I think that will be devastating.

I'll bounce back, because I'm not the kind to stay down, but right now the anticipation is killing me.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Promises and Lies

It took me three years to write The King's Tale primarily because I wasn't writing it with the intent to get it published. I was writing it for myself, so I didn't have a huge push to get it done. I submitted it fully expecting it to be rejected, and was overjoyed to find it wasn't. My own name for it is TKT, that's what I refer to it as when I talk with my dear friend Danyel.

So, TKT took me three years, and the new novel, Promises and Lies, I'm working on is nearing completion of the first rough draft after only 6 months. I'm midway through chapter twenty five, and have finally decided there will be one additional chapter and an epilogue. With editing and rewriting, I figure at least another two to three months before it's ready to submit.

I'm excited about it, it's pretty much a straight romance, imo a very sweet story.

The Ides of March conquered me today, so I had to give up on writing, but I'm feeling very hopeful and optimistic.

Monday, March 1, 2010

March 2010 GLBT Bookshelf Fundraiser

Visit the GLBT Bookshelf's March Fundraiser

Mel Keegan has worked tirelessly to make the GLBT Bookshelf a fantastic place. Please drop by to support the wiki and check out some new and discounted works by seven Bookshelf members, including a new short story by me.

 

Sam O'Brien and Mason Jackson are long time friends and roommates with benefits. Passionate martial artists they earn a living criss crossing the country putting on exhibitions with an elite team from their dojo. One snowy night in Atlanta Mason makes a startling revelation about his habits when he and Sam are parted, and a bitter argument ensues. Sam leaves Mason reeling in a drunken stupor and finds solace with the rest of the dojo at a party. Although Sam is morose about the argument he strikes up a conversation with Shan, another martial artist. Although the encounter is one-sided on Shan's part, when Sam returns home later Mason accuses him of the worst and kicks Sam out of their shared apartment.

Uncertainty lingers, and even though Sam feels betrayed he can't get Mason out of his head. Sam stays late in the dojo craving the solitude it provides, and the release from worry that working out brings. After weeks of separation Mason finds him there one night and promises things will change. Admissions are made on both sides, and the lovers turn a corner and agree to give things another chance.


Thanks!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Some thoughts about reviews

I'm guessing it's in poor taste for authors to write about reviews and reviewers, so I'll preface this by saying I'm not talking about anyone or anything in particular, just a random thought I had this morning.

First of all, I'm a pro-wrestling fan, and have been for about ten years. If you read my short story "Silent Night" I guess that would be clear, since I based it in that world.

Ok, so that's the back story, here's the real story. My favorite pro wrestler is Chris Jericho. He is also a musician, and his band Fozzy released their fourth CD at the end of January. It had been five years since their previous release, so this one was highly anticipated by people like me who are infatuated with everything he does. The CD did not disappoint. In fact, in my humble opinion it's their best yet. They're no longer a band stumbling through covers and trying to find their voice, they're a straight ahead rock band that finally has a personality, and an identity.

The other night I was looking at the CD at Amazon, and out of curiosity I looked at the reviews. Before I had my own book for sale on Amazon I never looked at the reviews. I'm the kind of person who wants to make my own judgement about things. If I were ever going to actually read a review, I'd tend to trust a well known reviewer, not a random name on Amazon. For example, if I were going to buy a Gay Romance Novel I'd look at Book Wenches, or Literary Nymphs way before I'd read an Amazon review.

One of the reviews attached to this CD was a one-star review. I literally gasped and made the :O face because how could someone give my baby a one star review??? I read the review, and I found so many holes in it. I came up with counter-arguments to everything that was said.

So, that's when it hit me. Those kind of reviews are meant to be taken with a grain of salt. Those and the rash of one star reviews that The King's Tale has been racking up at GoodReads. I'm guessing Chris Jericho will never read the one star reviews at Amazon, and so why should I?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Happy January 15!

January 15 is a special day in my head, one of those random days I celebrate for forgotten reasons.

Today started with a beautiful red sky. I still remember that old addage, "red sky at morning, sailors take warning, red sky at night, sailor's delight"...my grandfather was in the Merchant Marines. We're promised rain this weekend, I took the red sky as a good sign.

In any case, January 15th turned out to be a pretty good day which brought 2 nice reviews!

The King's Tale has a new review at Amazon. When he originally reviewed the book in his blog I thought he didn't really like it. I'm glad the "Timeless Dreams" label helped because now it looks like he does like it. This was my favorite part of the review:

Strong points: historical details, medieval dialogue, Dafydd (an endearing character)

I love Dafydd so much...it makes me happy when other people do too. Of course, I also love Christopher because I love bad boys...but there you go.

"Silent Night" also received a favorable mention here.